Let's admit it... a big part of the holidays revolve around food. There are wonderful family dinners, neighborhood cookie exchanges, and potluck parties at the office. You name it, if there's a celebration, there's sure to be extra yummy treats to be found. Today's Deck The Halls with Fabric.com project is all about yummy treats. In fact, this particular project made all of us hungry for cupcakes during the entire construction process. Like our earlier Deck The Halls Santa Letter Pocket Pillows, this is another design that makes use of the wide variety of panel fabrics available at Fabric.com. Normally used for quick and easy quilts, we've broken the mold to use them instead as feature appliqués on pretty banded, double-sided napkins. We made a set of eight, alternating two crisp coordinating cottons for the main napkin fabric.
Thanks to all the great folks at Fabric.com for sponsoring this year's Deck The Halls series! They make ordering online a breeze with great customer service every step of the way. Their fabric panels are an amazingly affordable way to create clever appliqués. With our mouthwatering confectionary theme, we matched the cupcake panel blocks with pink fabric in dots and stripes. But there are hundreds of other panel options at Fabric.com to create your own personalized set.
Today's napkin has a clever "rolled tube" construction method, which cuts down on the number of seams and makes a super smooth edge all around. The napkins finish at a very generous, dinner size 20" x 20". All eight of ours feature a unique block from the panel as an appliqué.
Remember, panel blocks vary in size and shape. You should adjust your layout to best fit your fabric. And, while panels work perfectly for this project, you could also fussy cut blocks from standard yardage.
Wouldn't these make a perfect hostess gift for the season's holiday parties? Feel free to use our idea to bundle the napkin set in baker's twine and present it in a classic pink cake box.
As an extra bonus, we designed a set of matching gift tags. Click the image below to download the free printable .PDF file.
Sewing Tools You Need
Any Sewing Machine (we recommend the Janome Jem Gold 660 - love this little machine)
Fabric and Other Supplies
NOTE: Inventory shifts constantly, and some fabric may not be in-stock when you first visit. However, there are other color options as well as re-stock dates listed for each fabric. Above are our sample fabrics. Below are some alternate selections. Click on the swatches below for even more panel options from which to choose.
Amounts shown below are for a set of EIGHT coordinating dinner napkins.
- ONE printed panel with at least 8 approximately 7" x 7" blocks for the appliqués; we used the Love At First Bite 15-Block Panel (three rows of five blocks) in Brown (#0273115) from Fabric.com
- 2½ yards EACH of TWO 44-45" quilting weight cottons for the napkin front and back panels; we used two coordinating pink prints - one dot and one stripe: Pale Pink Stripe by Pimatex Basics (#DJ-015) and Pale Pink Polka Dots by Primatex Basics (#DJ-037) both from Fabric.com
- 1 yard of fusible web for appliqués; we used Wonder Under by Pellon (#0307107) from Fabric.com
- 1 yard of tear-away stabilizer also for the appliqué process; we used Stitch 'n' Sew by Thermoweb (#0293659)
- All purpose thread to match fabric
- 40 wt. decorative thread for appliqué; we used a deep pink - you should choose a color that picks up an accent within your appliqué blocks
- See-through ruler
- Fabric pen or pencil
- Seam gauge
- Seam ripper
- Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
- Iron and ironing board
- Straight pins
- From EACH of the coordinating cottons (Pale Pink Stripe and Pale Pink Polka Dots in our samples), cut FOUR 21" high x Width of Fabric (WOF) strips
- From each of these eight WOF strips, sub-cut the following:
ONE 21" high x 15" wide rectangle and ONE 21" high x 27" wide rectangle
NOTE: If using a stripe, the cuts should be made to insure the stripes run vertically.
- From the fusible web, cut EIGHT squares about 1" larger than your panel squares; in our sample, our finished squares were 6" x 6" so we cut EIGHT 7" x 7" squares.
- From the tear-away stabilizer, cut EIGHT squares about 1" larger than your panel squares; as above, we cut EIGHT 7" x 7" squares.
- From the panel fabric, carefully cut out EIGHT OVERSIZE squares, one for each napkin. We cut each of our squares at about 8" x 8".
At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board
Appliqué preparation and attachment
- Find all eight of your panel squares. Flip them over to the wrong side and center a square of fusible web over the motif area. Make sure your fusible web square goes beyond the edges of the motif square. Following manufacturer's instructions, fuse in place.
- Again, following manufacturer's instructions, peel away the paper backing from the fusible web.
- Flip the square over to the right side. Using your clear ruler and a rotary cutter, trim down the square to its finished size. As we mentioned above, our finished squares were approximately 6" x 6".
- Repeat these steps to prepare all eight appliqué blocks.
- Find all eight 21" x 15" backing rectangles. Fold each piece in half so it is now 21" high x 7½" wide (tall and narrow - oriented exactly as it will be on the final napkin).
- Place the folded piece on your work surface with the raw edges of the 21" side on your left (left as you are looking down at the fabric).
- Place the appliqué at the bottom, positioning the square 1" in from the raw edges and 1" up from the bottom edge. You can lightly pin in place as you adjust.
- Following manufacturer's instructions, fuse the appliqué in place.
- Unfold the fabric (it was just folded to mark placement) and press the entire piece flat.
- Repeat to fuse the remaining seven appliqués in place. If you are following our mix-and-match design, you will fuse four appliqués onto the stripe and four onto the polka dot.
- Thread the machine with decorative thread in the top and bobbin thread in the bobbin. Select a tight zig zag stitch.We used a 3.5 mm width and a 0.40 mm length.
- Find the squares of tear-away stabilizer.
- Layer a square of stabilizer under the fabric directly behind the applique, then slide both layers under the presser foot.
- Align the presser foot with the edge of the block and satin stitch around the entire outer perimeter.
- When the stitching is complete, tear away the stabilizer. Press the piece from the wrong side of the fabric.
NOTE: If you are new to this technique, check out our Appliqué Tutorial.
- Repeat to stitch the remaining seven appliqués in place.
Assemble the napkin panels
- Find the eight 21" x 27" rectangles. Pair them up with the eight appliquéd rectangles. If you are following our mix-and-match design, you should pair a large stripe with an appliquéd polka dot, and a large polka dot with an appliquéd stripe.
- Pin each pair together along both 21" sides, creating a tube.
- Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch both 21" seams.
- Turn the tube right side out and press the seam allowances away from the appliqué panel.
- Edgestich along each seam (about 3/16" from the seam line) within the main panel (the non-appliquéd panel).
- Turn the tube wrong side out again.
- Roll the tube to match up the two seam lines. Pin along the top and bottom edges, leaving an approximate 5" center opening along the top.
- Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch across the top and bottom. Remember to lock your seam on either side of the 5" opening at the top
- Clip the corners, being careful to not clip into your seam.
- Turn the napkin right side out through the opening. Gently push out the corners from the inside so they are nice and square. Use a long, blunt-end tool, such as a knitting needle or chopstick.
- Press the napkin flat, pressing in the raw edges of the opening so they are flush with the sewn seam.
- Edgestitch around all four sides. This helps keep the layers from shifting against one another and closes the opening used for turning.
Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Debbie Guild